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CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

JERRY BRUCKHEIMER (Producer) Great stories, well told. They can be for audiences in darkened movie theatres or home living rooms. They can feature great movie stars or introduce new talent. They can be true adventure, broad comedy, heartbreaking tragedy, epic history, joyous romance or searing drama. They can be set in the distant or recent past, an only imagined future or a familiar present. Whatever their elements, though, if they begin with a lightning bolt, they are stories being told by Jerry Bruckheimer, and they will be great stories, well told.

The numbers—of dollars and honors—are a matter of often-reported record.

Bruckheimer's films have earned worldwide revenues of over $15 billion in box-office, video and recording receipts. In the 2005-6 season he had a record-breaking 10 series on network television, a feat unprecedented in nearly 60 years of television history. His films (16 of which exceeded the $100 million mark in U.S. box-office receipts) and television programs—have been acknowledged with 41 Academy Award® nominations, six Oscars®, eight Grammy Award® nominations, five Grammys, 23 Golden Globe® nominations, four Golden Globes, 77 Emmy Award® nominations, 17 Emmys, 23 People's Choice Award nominations, 15 People's Choice Awards, 12 BAFTA nominations, two BAFTA Awards, numerous MTV Awards, including one for Best Picture of the Decade for "Beverly Hills Cop,” and 20 Teen Choice Awards.

But the numbers exist only because of Bruckheimer's uncanny ability to find the stories and tell them on film. He is, according to The Washington Post, "the man with the golden gut.” He may have been born that way, but more likely, his natural gifts were polished to laser focus in the early years of his career. His first films were the 60-second tales he told as an award-winning commercial producer in his native Detroit. One of those mini-films, a parody of "Bonnie and Clyde” created for Pontiac, was noted for its brilliance in Time Magazine and brought the 23-year-old producer to the attention of world-renowned ad agency BBDO, which lured him to New York.

Four years on Madison Avenue gave him the experience and confidence to tackle Hollywood, and, just about 30, he was at the helm of memorable films like "Farewell, My Lovely,” "American Gigolo” and 1983's "Flashdance,” which changed Bruckheimer's life by grossing $92 million in the U.S. alone and pairing him with Don Simpson, who would be his producing partner for the next 13 years.

Together, the Simpson/Bruckheimer juggernaut produced one hit after another, including "Top Gun,” "Days of Thunder,” "Beverly Hills Cop,” "Beverly Hills Cop II,” "Bad Boys,” "Dangerous Minds” and "Crimson Tide.” Box-office success was acknowledged in both 1985 and 1988 when the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) named Bruckheimer Producer of the Year. And in 1988 the Publicists Guild of America chose him, along with Simpson, Motion Picture Showmen of the Year.

In 1996, Bruckheimer produced "The Rock,” re-establishing Sean Connery as an action star and turning an unlikely Nicolas Cage into an action hero. "The Rock,” named Favorite Movie of the Year by NATO, grossed $350 million worldwide and was Bruckheimer's last movie with Simpson, who died during production.

Now on his own, Bruckheimer followed in 1997 with "Con Air,” which grossed over $230 million, earned a Grammy and two Oscar® nominations, and brought its producer the ShoWest International Box Office Achievement Award for unmatched foreign grosses.

Then came Touchstone Pictures' megahit "Armageddon,” starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler and Steve Buscemi. Directed by Michael Bay, it was the biggest movie of 1998, grossing nearly $560 million worldwide while introducing legendary rock band Aerosmith's first #1 single, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.”

By the end of the millennium, Bruckheimer had produced "Enemy of the State,” starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman, and "Gone in 60 Seconds,” starring Cage, Angelina Jolie and Robert Duvall, both grossing over $225 million worldwide; "Coyote Ugly,” whose soundtrack album went triple platinum; and the NAACP Image Award-winning "Remember the Titans,” starring Denzel Washington. His peers in the Producers Guild of America acknowledged his genius with the David O. Selznick Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures.

He began the 21st century with triple Oscar®-nominee "Pearl Harbor.” Starring Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale and directed by Bay, the film was hailed by World War II veterans and scholars as a worthy re-creation of the event that brought the United States into the war. In addition to multiple award nominations and the Oscar for Best Sound Editing, it earned over $450 million in worldwide box-office receipts and has topped $250 million in DVD and video sales.

"Black Hawk Down,” the story of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, starred Hartnett, Eric Bana and Ewan McGregor and was directed by Ridley Scott. The adaptation of the Mark Bowden bestseller was honored with multiple award nominations, two Oscars® and rave reviews.

Turning his hand toward comedy in 2003, Bruckheimer released the raucously funny "Kangaroo Jack,” a family film that won an MTV Award for Best Virtual Performance for the kangaroo.

And later in 2003, Bruckheimer unveiled "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” Starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley and directed by Gore Verbinski, the comedy/adventure/romance grossed more than $630 million worldwide, earned five Academy Award® nominations and spawned two sequels: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End,” both of which were to become even bigger hits than the first.

Following "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” The Films That Begin With The Lightning Bolt have included "Bad Boys II”; "Veronica Guerin,” starring a luminous Cate Blanchett as the Irish journalist murdered by Dublin crime lords; and "King Arthur,” with Clive Owen starring in the revisionist re-telling of the Arthurian legend.

In 2004 "National Treasure,” starring Cage and Sean Bean in a roller-coaster adventure about solving the mystery of untold buried treasure, opened to cheering audiences and grossed more than $335 million worldwide.

"Glory Road,” the story of Texas Western coach Don Haskins, who led the first all-black starting line-up for a college basketball team to the NCAA national championship in 1966, debuted in early 2006 starring Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Al Shearer, Mehcad Brooks and Emily Deschanel. The film was honored with an ESPY Award for "Best Sports Movie of the Year” for 2006, while the writers received a Humanitas Prize for work that "honestly explores the complexities of the human experience and sheds light on the positive values of life.”

Summer 2006 brought the theatrical release of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,” which sailed into the record books by becoming not only Bruckheimer's most financially successful film, but the highest grossing movie opening ever in the history of the medium: $132 million in its first three days. Shattering projected estimates, the film earned $55.5 million the first day of release. Seizing $44.7 million on the second day, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” became the first movie in history to top $100 million in only two days. The final worldwide take of $1.1 billion placed "Dead Man's Chest” in third position among the highest-grossing films of all time.

Teaming for the sixth time with director Tony Scott, Bruckheimer released "Déjà Vu” in late 2006, the story of an ATF agent who falls in love with a complete stranger as he races against time to track down her brutal killer. The film stars Denzel Washington, Jim Caviezel, Paula Patton and Val Kilmer.

In May 2007, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End,” third in the blockbuster trilogy, opened around the world simultaneously. Shattering more domestic and international records in its wake, "At World's End” became the fastest film in history to reach half a billion dollars in overseas grosses. By early July, the film had crossed the $300 million mark domestically and amassed $625 million internationally, with its total of $960 million giving "At World's End” hallowed status as the number-one worldwide movie of the year and the sixth biggest film of all time in total box-office receipts.

Collectively, the "Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy brought in close to $2.7 billion at the worldwide box-office, marking it as a truly international cultural phenomenon.

Released on December 21st, 2007, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets”—the follow-up to Bruckheimer's 2004 hit, again starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Jon Turteltaub—opened to a smash number-one weekend of nearly $45 million, almost $10 million more than the first film. "National Treasure: Book of Secrets” remained in the number-one box-office position for three consecutive weeks and surpassed the first film's U.S. box-office total of $173 million after only 18 days in release. It sailed past the $200 million domestic landmark just a little over a month after it first appeared in theatres and was hugely successful overseas as well, with the combined box-office total reaching $440 million. In addition to reuniting Cage with "National Treasure” stars Jon Voight, Diane Kruger and Justin Bartha, Academy Award®-winning actress Helen Mirren and four-time Oscar® nominee Ed Harris were also welcomed to the cast.

Next up from Jerry Bruckheimer Films are "G-Force,” an adventure film which combines live action and computer imagery under the innovative direction of Academy Award®-winning visual effects wizard Hoyt Yeatman, and "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” an epic fantasy adventure directed by Mike Newell ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”) and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, newcomer Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina.

Could the master film storyteller make the same magic in 47 minutes for the living-room audience? Apparently. As Time Magazine recently wrote, "The most successful producer in film history…is on his way to becoming the most successful producer in the history of TV.” Indeed, by mid-2008 Jerry Bruckheimer Television celebrated its 1,000th episode of network television, a remarkable feat by any standards of the medium.

Bruckheimer brought the power of the lightning bolt to television in 2000 with "C.S.I.,” starring William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger. It quickly became the number-one show on television, averaging 25 million viewers a week, and, along with its two spin-offs, "C.S.I.: Miami”—distinguished as the biggest television series hit on a global scale in 2005 as well as being broadcast TV's #1 primetime series for the summer of 2006—and "C.S.I.: NY,” helped catapult languishing CBS back to the top of the broadcast heap.

Jerry Bruckheimer Television broadened its imprint by telling compelling stories and delivering viewers in huge numbers with "Without a Trace,” "Cold Case” and six-time Emmy Award®-winning "The Amazing Race” on CBS. The Fall 2008 season returned all six current JBTV series ("C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation,” "C.S.I.: Miami,” "C.S.I.: NY,” "Without a Trace,” "Cold Case,” "The Amazing Race”) to the schedule, and added a seventh, "Eleventh Hour,” which continues Bruckheimer's trademark of provocative, investigative drama. Jerry Bruckheimer Television next expands into cable with a new dramatic series for TNT, "The Line,” starring Dylan McDermott.

In 2004, Bruckheimer made the "Time 100,” a list of the most influential people in the world. Also in 2004, Bruckheimer was named number one in the Power Issue of Entertainment Weekly. The following year, he was the first recipient of the SEAL Patriot Award, in recognition by the SEAL community for his outstanding representation of the U.S. military in motion pictures and television.

In 2006, Bruckheimer was honored with a Doctor of Fine Arts degree from The University of Arizona, his alma mater. "Bruckheimer is unique in the industry in that his creative vision spans both large and small screens. We are pleased to recognize his work through this honor,” said Maurice Sevigny, dean of the UA College of Fine Arts.

Variety selected Bruckheimer as their Showman of the Year for 2006. This award— determined by Variety's top editors and reporters—is presented to an individual who has had significant economic impact, innovations and/or breakthroughs in the entertainment industry. Bruckheimer was presented with the Salute to Excellence Award from The Museum of Television and Radio for 2006 for his contribution to the television medium. And, in 2007, the Producers Guild of America presented him with the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television for his extraordinary body of work in television.

The Los Angeles Times listed Bruckheimer as number 8 in its 2006 The Power Issue, which features the 100 people who wield the most influence in Southern California. Premiere magazine ranked Bruckheimer as number 10 on its list of 2006 power players, while Forbes magazine positioned the producer at 42 on its 2006 Celebrity 100 List. Bruckheimer placed number 24 on Vanity Fair's 2008 New Establishment, an annual list of the world's most powerful people, moving up a couple of notches from number 26 on the 2007 list; and he placed a high number 14 on Entertainment Weekly's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood issue in December 2007. This was the month in which the lightning bolt struck several times, and in new directions, including the major announcement that Bruckheimer had entered into a collaboration with MTV to develop videogames, establishing a games incubation studio in Santa Monica to create and develop titles; and then the blockbuster opening of "National Treasure: Book of Secrets.” On the last day of 2007, The New York Times' "Most Wanted” section on its Arts and Leisure page noted that Bruckheimer had both the number-one film ("Book of Secrets”) and number-one rated television program ("CSI: Miami”) in the United States.

In her 2008 autobiography, "In the Frame,” Dame Helen Mirren recalls Bruckheimer, during the course of filming "National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” as "gentle, supportive and courageous, proving the saying ‘he who dares, wins.'”

Jerry Bruckheimer has been successful in many genres and multiple mediums because he's a great storyteller, takes dares…and almost always wins.

Look for the lightning bolt. The best stories are right behind it.

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